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Abandoning gendered search options

May 15, 2015

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To learn about the world, children need access to a range of toys and play experiences, so finding the best solution is never easy. The way toys are being sold, however, has lately been put under scrutiny.

The marketers are well aware of emotional pressure when searching and browsing for toys. Bundling items in accordance of the child’s gender and imposing what girls and boys are supposed to like has long been among their weapons of choice. All in all construction and technology toys were predominantly offered to boys, while role play and arts and crafts were mainly targeting girls. If a girl, for instance, showed interest in train set or lab equipment, her parents faced numerous hurdles whilst trying to go around the system to find the desired item.

Finally, the criticism of gender targeting has reaped fruits and now all major companies are starting to listen. In the latest attempt to fend off critics, the internet behemoth Amazon quietly removed gendered search options, which was previously separating cranes from dolls. Even the toy manufacturers are now carefully avoiding gender based marketing or offering gender-neutral solutions. There are still pages, safely hidden from the main screen, that are sorting toys on gender lines, yet recent developments show how gender blind spots in marketing, once illuminated, can be easily eradicated.

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From → Hic Salta

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